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Wisconsin Football Opponent Preview: Washington State Cougars



Wisconsin Badgers Football; RB Chez Mellusi
Sep 2, 2023; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Chez Mellusi (1) runs 89 yards for a touchdown against the Buffalo Bulls during the the third quarter at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin Football team opened their 2023 season with a 38-17 win over the the Buffalo Bulls on Saturday. Next up for the Badgers is a road game to Pullman Washington to take on the Washington State Cougars. The Badgers are seen as an early four point favorite.

The Cougars, or better known as Wazzu, is coming off a 50-24 road win at Colorado State on Saturday. It will be the first true road test for the Badgers this season. Here’s is an early look at the Washington State Cougars.

Wisconsin Football Opponent Preview #1- Cam Ward, Cam Ward, Cam Ward

Everything Wazzu will do on offense will be around junior quarterback Cam Ward. Ward was spectacular against Colorado State on Saturday. He accounted for almost 500 yards of total offense (491 through the air and 40 on the ground) and four total touchdowns. Ward led the team in passing, rushing, and carries.

One glaring issue for the Wisconsin Football defense on Saturday was the amount of missed tackles. They won’t get away with that on Saturday. Ward will present issues with his arms and legs. If the Badgers defense miss as many tackles this week as they did last week, they won’t win.

Wisconsin Football Opponent Preview #2- Expect the Secondary to Get a Work Load

Wisconsin football safety, Hunter Wohler

Wisconsin safety Hunter Wohler (24) tackles Buffalo running back Ron Cook Jr. (2) during the third quarter of the game on Saturday September 2, 2023 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis.

The Wisconsin football secondary should have their work cut out this week. Against Colorado State, the Cougars ran the ball 37 times but only for 90 yards. That’s only an average of just over two yards a carry.

Expect the Cougars to go after a new Wisconsin secondary. This group had their moments against Buffalo. Cam Ward is a better quarterback and will take chances down the field. The secondary of Wisconsin will need to bring their A game.

Wisconsin Football Opponent Preview #3- A Taste of Revenge

Wisconsin football

Sep 2, 2023; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Luke Fickell celebrates with wide wide receiver Chimere Dike (13) following a touchdown during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bulls at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

You better believe this Wisconsin Football team will be looking for revenge against Wazzu. The Cougars came into Madison last season as heavy underdogs and beat the Badgers 17-14. Turnovers and special teams was the story of that game. Wisconsin was sloppy on offense and allowed the Cougars to score all their points from a short field.

There’s a number of returning players from last years team that will want to get their revenge. Winning on the road in college football is not easy. Home crowds, atmospheres, and different time zones all play a factor. It shouldn’t take much to motivate Wisconsin this week.

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Dylan began as a staff writer for Badger Notes in August 2023. He has written about Wisconsin Badger Football and Men's Basketball since May 2020. Dylan's work has been featured on Yard Barker, NewsBreak, and Bleacher Reports